The number of times I’ve said this to a loved one or an acquaintance, I have no idea, but definitely one too many. It’s usually more of an opening sentence and the closing word and in between is a whole speech I never prepare for but always seem to have at the tip of my tongue.
The thing is, we are all unique creatures who possess a certain awesomeness peculiar to our nature. We are not required to be a particular way to please anybody and we have a responsibility to ourselves to share that awesomeness with others.
Pretty simple, isn’t it?
I think the first thing I should have done was mention how I usually say these things hoping that one day, whiles talking to someone to be awesome, the part of me that listens and follows through with actions would listen and do what I have been saying. So yes, I talk the talk and instead of walking the talk, I am sitting the sit. Funny.
Words A couple of words to mark a couple of years A couple of years to mark a couple of memories a couple of memories cannot tell the tale But a tale has to begin from somewhere, And mine, from the last good day.
The theory of the last good day is simple. It is that one last normal day just before everything changes. The calm before the storm kind of situation.
It was a Tuesday evening. I had skipped class with some “I’m not feeling well” excuse. I had had a rather pleasant day and we were about to meet and hang out. What better way to end the day?
We made the usual noise, laughed so hard at jokes that we could probably never remember even if our lives depended on it. There was music. At least, in my memory of the perfect day, there was.
We had icecream. It was the cheap one we usually get because I love icecream, it’s better than nothing. The others were bargaining as usual. Which was more amusing because this was the first time I’d seen them do that for icecream. Desperate times I guess.
We walked a couple of steps and decided to settle on a short wall by the pathway. It made it easier to disturb passersby without necessarily being in the way. Why we always chose this as a pastime instead of regular-people-stuff, only heaven knows.
I don’t remember how long we were outside, but it was long enough to meet the tutor I ran from. You could not, at least, hold the laughter in till he walked away. You just had to start when I had locked eyes with him and he was giving me the ‘sick indeed’ look. I had suddenly become the subject of interest, and I was not glad one bit.
But after a while of endless teasing, I had to admit, it was quite hilarious.
You know, whenever I think back on that day, I don’t really remember much. Half of the memories might even be products of my hyperactive mind. The only thing I am very sure of is that we laughed a lot that day. I mean, a lot.
A wise person once said, “Don’t make promises you cannot keep.”
It made such a great impression on me that I decided not to make promises at all. After all, I thought, how am I supposed to know what the future holds and and which promises I can actually fulfill?
And so, with that, I never made a promise. Sincerely, or jokingly, I refused to make such commitments. I was more frightened of breaking the promise than I was of making it.
However, I recently had the pleasure of interacting with another wise person who did not understand this somewhat bizarre theory of mine.
This wise person said, and I paraphrase, Nobody is perfect. We are each bound to make mistakes and break promises. But we cannot allow the fact that we err deter us from aiming for perfection. For in our attempts, we can experience a certain iota of perfect goodness. And that alone, is enough.
I’ve not made any promises recently though, but this time, it is not because I have an I-don’t-make-promises rule. The opportunity just has not presented itself.
Look at me, just a couple of days into the new year and I am already making life-altering decisions.
Then again, isn’t that how we are supposed to live our lives. Embrace learning opportunities. Accept change. Take a chance with love. Laugh out loud.
Live, learn, love, laugh…
I’m learning to make (and keep my) promises… What’s yours?
What are you learning to do? Or what decision have you recently made?
It’s been one big ride. Jolly? Not sure. But one thing’s for sure though.
Each up, each down, was most definitely a highlight. Definitely worth it.
I’ve laughed and loved. Multiple times.
Been at my wits end. Been full of hope.
Been utterly broke, and immensely wealthy.
I’ve been paranoid. I’ve walked with my eyes closed.
I’ve trusted, had it handed back to me, and still, trusted some more.
I’ve had hopes crushed, and wishes come true.
I’ve strayed far away from faith, and somehow, been brought back home.
I’ve made friends who mean more to me than I would’ve thought possible at first, and I’ve equally lost friends I never thought I could lose.
I’ve drawn closer to family. I’ve drawn farther away from others.
The list of juxtaposed events and/or moments is endless.
2017 has been a rollercoaster ride of emotions, events… Everything.
I’ve learnt so much. Changed so much. Lost so much. Acquired so much. Become so much.
If I could go back again, would I do anything differently?
Do I want a do over though?
If I see 2018, then it should be unique too.
See you on the other side!
P. S. If it’s not such a bother, kindly pass by theanonymousphase on your way out. My original baby and a sexy walk through other parts of my brain. Kinda.😅
P. P. S. Happy New Year in advance people! You have been such a lovely audience. Your comments and likes always lighten my mood and brighten up my day! I love all of you in my own special way💕💕💕and I look forward to whatever the future has in store for us!
Young, smart, ambitious… But that’s not exactly why.
When I joined my class this semester, I knew only one girl from my class last year. Unfortunately, she wasn’t in all my classes. Being the only black girl in my class, it’s hard to go unnoticed. Unless you’re blind.
I naturally tend to work harder than the average student because I seem to always want to prove myself to… Me. Whatever that means.
I am also quite the introvert unless I am with people I like so I really suck in the friends-making department. This automatically implies that I was awfully alone throughout the greater part of my semester.
Halfway through, however, I decided to greet people in my class. Say hello. Not have earphones plugged in all the time. Stuff like that. Since I know I can’t approach people, I might as well be somewhat approachable.
I had also decided those I wanted to avoid. Because let’s face it, there is always that racist person or groups of people, or those crowds that are just bad news, or those gossips you just want to stay as far away from as possible.
I made a friend in my second week though. Tall, beautiful and happy. I know happy isn’t really a compliment, but she is. And she is really cool. The first time we met, I decided she was going to be a really great friend. And I’d tell you why.
So, typical day in class. She sits by me and we get to talking. We are all new in class, and whether or not they admit it, everyone is somewhat curious about the stranger. So it becomes a group discussion of sorts. Normal questions are asked, like country and language and how many years I’ve been in Algeria. Then religion.
You see, there is no appropriate answer to this question. So I just hold back all the sarcastic responses I could decorate a person’s life with.
But my new friend, who has clearly never been privy to such a *insert as many words as you want* conversation goes berserk.
“What do you mean by why??? You’re Muslim. She’s Christian. It’s a choice. What’s your problem?”
Then there was this awkward silence. Oh how glad I was!!!
I have decided that most of the boys in my class were cool. The are not good looking –in my humble opinion– so no distractions there (no offense). They would explain stuff, make jokes and generally be nice without trying to forcibly befriend you. I already have five favourites.
Two are really smart. They don’t talk to me though. But if they happen to be seated near me and I have a question, they help. A lot. One speaks more arabic than french and he always says hi, or smiles and he’s helping me learn a couple of words and expressions. I think he tried to make a move on some girl in the first week but she wasn’t interested. They don’t sit together anymore. Poor guy. The fourth one is also from my previous class. We acknowledge each other with a nod everytime meet.
The last one is the one who’s earned my respect.
You see, he has a particularly loud voice and is very animated (if that’s the right word). Like me, he’s wears glasses but still can’t see if he sit’s too far back. We share a lot of classes together. He is also, officially my sitting partner in the compulsory English class we take. (My prof doesn’t know I’m anglophone yet😴).
Anyway, today, I bumped into him after class holding a big bag of Chiuaua! (It is a tiny packet of salted Sunflower seeds. Really tasty. Really nice. Hot commodity.) .
Though it is loved my many, I have never seen anyone buy a bag of it😂 so it was bizarre to say the least. He said he was going to eat all of it. I laughed. Even I knew that no boy, no matter how big an appetite they had, would eat all of that.
AmI going to smoke it then?
Sure. Roll it all up and have a field day.
I thought he was going to sell it. So I told him. He said he did sell them in the school buses.
I laughed. He maintained a serious expression.
I must’ve had a weird expression on my face because he said, “It sounds crazy right? Shouting Chiuaua in the bus?”
Then he said , “In the beginning, it did feel weird, but now, it’s not such a big deal anymore.”
I was like cooooollll.
I had met alot of these boys whose public image meant a lot to them. They wanted easy money. All that.
I don’t know what his story is. I don’t know why he does what he does. But I have seen him work so hard at his books, and to see him work hard after… Respect!
The people we live with make direct and indirect impact in our lives.
A lot of people plan certain events in their lives way before they happen. On beautifully rare occasions, I am one of those people.
However, I never planned my uni roommates.
Throughout the whole school selection process, it never crossed my mind to think about who I was going to stay with. And I didn’t even have a lot of female friends back then so my options were close to non-existant.
When the hall allocations came up and I had to choose a room, I freaked out.
Which wing do I want? What floor? Lucky numbers???
So I started hollering at people who I’d heard were going to the same uni. Funny thing was, nobody had been allocated to my hall. Somewhere in the middle of giving up and deciding to wing it, my friend goes like, “Ellie is also going to be in your hall! You should totally link up!”
Ellie was a friend of ours. Same circle of friends. We went to high school together and everything. Somehow, I had never hollered at her individually before that night. But desperate times…
So I text her and she is so enthusiastic and is telling me what to do and how I should hurry before the room gets full cause she has already picked a room.
People who know me would agree that I don’t like nice people. I feel they are too suspicious. How can you just be nice to me? Granted we have spoken multiple times and all that, but you can’t possibly…
Anyway, though I had my suspicions, I was very glad I knew at least one person in my room and she was cool.
Thank you God!🙏
On the first day of school, Ellie gets there earlier and picks a bunk for us. I meet her and she is as warm in person as she is in her texts. I meet her sister and though she is a little on the reserved side than Ellie (because we are technically strangers) she is just as warm.
How do they do it?!!!
In twenty-four hours, I am convinced that there are people who just love out loud like that. There are people who are nice to you and it doesn’t feel suffocating or whatever.
If there have been moments in my life when I have doubted the love Miss Ellen has for me, there have been an infinite number of moments when I have been convinced of the deep love.
Initially, I planned on mentioning instances like the numerous breakfasts in bed and the reprimands and the cheering on and the lloooovvveeeeeeeeeee…
But I think I have mentioned this… I get lazy, sometimes.😴
There are very few people in my life I call sisters and don’t mean the fact that we are black or come from the same country or go through the same hustle or think along the same wavelength. You, Ellie, are one of those few people in my life.
You are one of the people that make me want to love out loud too. You exude a certain confidence and kindness that gives me permission to do same.
You are so beautiful. Inside and out. I am very very proud of you, my little pumpkin😊
When people see us, they think we’ve been together our whole lives. We may not have been together a lifetime, but I think we still have time to make up for that.
And you’re probably one of the very few people I’d do this emo thing and get away with it😂
And I’m kinda realizing how mushy mushy this is, so if I do post it, please, please, let all the emo jokes stay in your head🙏
I was about ten years old when my dad took me on a date. Well, not a date, but it was dinner in my favourite restaurant and we talked and laughed all night. Date? I guess so.
So we were at home, regular evening with the family. My dad whispers to me to follow him outside. Says we are going out. You see, my little siblings are kinda like the regular ones. They always want to tag along. Always. To prevent that, we snuck out. That and the fact that we would have to tell my ma anyway.
When we go out, we open the gate slowly and quietly, then my dad puts the car on neutral so we can push it out. We don’t lock the gate well so that our return would be equally smooth. Smart right?
When we are finally away from home, we spark the car and away we gooooooo…
My dad parks into my favourite restaurant in the world [at the time]. It was this pretty cool chinese restaurant on a quiet street. We’d even become friends with the owner over time.
I am super excited and heavily under-dressed in shorts and a t-shirt. But he doesn’t seem to mind, so I don’t either. We walk inside.
Table for two. My dad and his queen. Me.
He says, “Order anything you want.”
Heknows me so well!!!
I order my favourite shrimp fried rice with beef sauce. We talk about everything and nothing. I’m even allowed to order my favourite soy milk.
It was so cool. Like my dad and I were the only two people in the world. Like in the movies… Just better. I ate till I couldn’t breath!!!
Unfortunately, the night had to end. We had to go back home.
On the way back, we were trying out excuses to give the fam if we were questioned. (My family is just a bunch of lawyers and detectives bound by blood)
In the end, we settled on acting like nothing happened. We took a walk. That’s it.
We got home safely. Thank God!
Again, opened the gate slooowwwllyyy. Then pushed the car back inside. Locked the gate and walked into the house like the innocent duo we were hoping to pass off as.
Everyone was already in snooze mode when we got home and they didn’t even care to question us. A mild blow to the ego though.
After all the careful sneaking and planning, they didn’t even have the decency to make us feel like suspects. Smh.
I was supposed to take this secret to my grave. But really, if they didn’t care then… They shouldn’t be so bothered now, right?
I had a veeerrryyy eventful day today.
Like every other person on this planet, I woke up this morning not knowing what the day had in store for me. Of course I had an agenda of sorts, but I can’t see into the future y’know.
So I woke up, begrudgingly, to get ready for school and all it’s wonders.
I got to campus late. Not that I was perturbed. I dislike the first class. The prof is this short lady with too much attitute and an overdose of pride, I wonder what went wrong in her life. Smh.
Anyway, fast forward to the end of my last class. I had multiple plans after school.
Go collect some important item from some person in one of blocks.
Head to the post office on campus.
Go shopping with a friend and just… Chill.
That was before I saw I’d missed multiple calls from my neighbour. I kept trying to call back but connection in school is just pathetic. I open my messages and my heart sinks.
Fastest time I’ve ever made it from campus home. My thoughts were running wild!!! I kept trying to do a mental assessment of how much damage had been done and how fast I can fix the mess before my rendezvous.
I get to my floor, and I see water… Everywhere. I go through a mini heart attack before I realize the water is from other rooms.
Ooookkaaayyy… Oh God, let mine be better!!!
I know, I know, selfish prayer. But I was flipping out. I finally get to my place and find my door already open and my stuff all put on chairs or tables and on the bed.
My neighbour had managed to get the person in charge of my block to open my room so she could save the valuables. The sweetheart.
On the plus side, nothing of value was actually damaged. Turns out the carpet absorbed most of the water so… On the other hand, Hello general cleaning!
Now I have this algerian friend/acquaintance/neighbour on my floor. Pretty loud, almost obnoxious. She has a big heart and a loud voice. Crazy girl really😂
So she comes and sees the damage and wants to do anything she can to help. She actually takes over the cleaning of the place while I deal with the wet things and whatnot. She scrubs and cleans my room like it’s hers with all these products and whatnot. I was legit touched.
I mean, she’s nice to me, I’m nice to her. But she just came to my rescue in a way that I never thought possible in this place. Like wooowwww!!!
My room was back to normal in an hour and half, give or take! Everything dry and ready to use. Except the carpet. That baby has been put out of business for a while.
I learnt something today. I’ve probably always known it, but still…
We never actually value the valuable people in our lives. Not as much as we should anyway.
There were two girls who came to my aid today. And I am utterly grateful.
The irony is, if tables had been turned, I’d probably have helped one more than the other. And it probably would not have been the one who stayed till the end.
Sucks though. Doesn’t it?
Oh yes! The cause of the ‘flood’?
The pipes connecting to the heaters managed to burst somewhere. I’m not really sure about the details. But they have uninstalled the heater in my place anyway.